India: The Annual Intellectual Property Report 2017-18 – A Patent Perspective

September 19, 2019

Chapter III of the Annual Intellectual Property Report 2017-18 presents the 46th report under Section 155 of the Patents Act, 1970, on various activities performed by the Indian Patent Office. The Office has four divisions for the purpose of patent administration across India located in New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai. All the four Patent Offices function as one virtual single office, and a patent that is granted by any of these offices is enforceable throughout the country.

  • The number of patent applications has grown in number by 5.3% in 2017-18 as compared to the preceding year. The number of Indian applications has increased in 2017-18 but the number of foreign applications have shown only a nominal increase. In 2017-18, the number of Indian applications is 32.5% of the total applications, as compared to 29.2% filed in the previous year.
  • Following are the trends of patent applications filed in 2017-18:
Year 2016-2017 2017-2018
Indian Applications 13,219 15,550
Foreign Applications 32,225 32,304
Total 45,444 47, 854
  • The Patent Rules, 2003, was amended on December 1, 2017 to incorporate a new definition for ‘Startup’. According to the new definition, Startup means “an entity in India recognized as a startup by the competent authority under Startup India initiative. In case of a foreign entity, an entity fulfilling the criteria for turnover and period of incorporation registration as per Startup India Initiative and submitting declaration to that effect will be applicable.” Start-ups have been included as a new category with 80% concession which allows efficient examination of the patent application filed by start-ups.
  • The table below shows patent applications filed by different categories of applicants:
Year Natural Person Startups Small Entity Other than Natural Persons (ONP) Total
Indian Foreign Indian Foreign Indian Foreign Indian Foreign Indian Foreign
2016-17 5,918 1,622 160 03 412 120 6,729 30,480 13, 219 32, 225
2017-18 6,811 1,444 511 04 491 131 7,737 30,725 15, 550 32, 304


  • The grant of patent this year increased by 32.5% and the disposal of patent applications has shown an increase of 57.6% in 2017-18. The procedural changes such as permitting video conferencing to allow hearings to be conducted remotely from the applicant’s location and even the controller can conduct hearings through video conferencing. The Patent Office has also launched a Mobile App and SMS alert facility.
  • These procedural changes have resulted in increment in numbers and improved efficiency at all levels in 2017-18:
Year 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Filed 42,951 42,763 46,904 45, 444 47,854
Examined 18,615 22, 631 16, 851 28,967 60,330
Granted 4,227 5,978 6,326 9,847 13,045
Disposal 11,411 14,316 21,987 30,271 47,695


  • The Indian Institute of Technology and Amity University continue to hold the first and the second spot respectively in 2017-18, like they did in 2016-17 on the list of number of patent applications filed by educational institutions. The Indian Institute of Technology had at least 4 times more patent applications than any other institute or university on the list.
  • Here is a list of the Top 10 educational institutes that have filed the highest number patent applications in 2017-18:
SI. No Name of Institute/University Applications Filed
1. Indian Institute of Technology (Collectively) 540
2. Amity University 119
3. Saveetha Dental College and Hospitals, Saveetha University 118
4. SRM University 81
5. Bharath University 66
6. Shoolini University 62
7. Chandigarh Group of Colleges 58
7. Indian Institute of Science 58
8. G.H. Raisoni College of Engineering 56


8. G.H.R. Labs and Research Centre 56
9. Sandeep Institute of Engineering and Management 46
10. KCG College of Technology 40

International Patent Application

  • The Office has taken some new steps to provide international search and high quality preliminary examination reports, including proper compliance with timelines for international patent application passed under the Paris Co-operation Treaty (hereinafter referred to as ‘PCT’) selecting Indian Patent Office (hereinafter referred to as ‘IPO’) as International Searching Authority (hereinafter referred to as ‘ISA’) and International Preliminary Examination Authority (hereinafter referred to as ‘IPEA’). The Indian Patent Office has achieved 99% timeliness for issuing International Search Reports under the PCT. Furthermore, the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (hereinafter referred to as ‘CGPDTM’) had a bilateral meeting the Commissioner of the Japan Patent Office and a meeting was held between the CGPDTM and the European Patent Office to assess bilateral activities for co-operation.
  • The top five nations in terms of international applications filed in 2016-17 and 2017-18 remained the same, even the number of applications filed by these nations has shown only nominal changes :
Country 2016-17 2017-18
USA 8,981 8,619
Japan 3, 399 3, 537
Germany 2, 186 2,166
Republic of China 2, 256 2, 115
Netherlands 1, 295 1,331
For more information please contact us at :